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EP. 133 A Fireside Chat with the co-founder of HelloGuru - Angela Castillo

Angela is the co-founder of HelloGuru and is an executive with experience scaling hyper-growth companies, including Drift. She has vast expertise in Brand Development, using technology for marketing, and bringing products to consumers internationally and in the US. Angela’s last role as the Chief of Staff at Drift provided her the skills to lead cross-functional teams towards efficiency and selected objectives.

 

Transcription:

Jim Coleman  00:05

Welcome Back to the Fuse Show everybody. My name is Jim and the co founder of xFusion.io and the co host of the fuse show, I'm excited to be joined today by my guest, Angela Castillo, Angela is the co founder of Hello Guru and is an executive with experience scaling hyper growth companies, including Drift. She has vast expertise in brand development, using technology for marketing and bringing products to consumers internationally. And in the US, Angela's last role as the chief of staff to the CEO of at drift, provided her the skills to lead cross functional teams towards efficiency and selected objectives. Welcome to the show Angela.

 

Angela Castillo  00:39

Hello, thank you. Great intro.

 

Jim Coleman  00:42

So I want to jump right into this. And there's a hashtag that you brought up to me when we were talking a few weeks ago offline, that is free the developers. So I'm curious to know what that means and why you're passionate about that.

 

Angela Castillo  00:55

So I more, I am passionate about it. But I think developers are even more passionate about it. Because what we're trying to do is that we're trying to allow developers to focus in coding and building high tech technology that are going to change the world. And we don't want them to be stuck to operational tasks and repeating the same lines of code again and again, or copy pasting code. And so by building the novel tool that we're building, we're going to free developers from operational boring work and allow them to change the world, which is what technology new technology should

 

Jim Coleman  01:34

remember, you made a comment before when we talked previously about like the idea of developing the technology to go to Mars, right, like, it's interesting timing. I'm reading the Ashley Vance biography of Elon musk. And it's so fascinating. It talks a little bit about the process that SpaceX and the the diligence that they go through to to hire engineers, and they're truly trying to find the best of the best. So are you saying that a lot of developers are doing what would be considered sort of lower level work that's not necessarily stimulating or enjoyable for them?

 

Angela Castillo  02:04

Yes, and that I think that everybody that is listening, can refer to that, because this happens not only for developers, but it happens in every function. And that's why we have so many systems, and so many things, but developers suffer it the most, we have data that says that developers spend 27% of their time doing these operational tasks that are not really enhancing their qualities. And so they're the ones that suffer the most. This problem is first technology is the thing that is advancing the fastest. So if you're a developer, and you're wasting your time, copy, pasting code, and creating the same things again, and again, or even fixing bogs, that that is a waste of talent for the world in general, for the evolvement of society.

 

Jim Coleman  02:49

I love the way you think. And I'm really excited to talk about the big picture of this. Let's segue and talk a little bit about Hello guru. And I, I'd love to know more, why you're passionate about this. And I guess first set the stage on what Hello Guru is in the audience that you serve.

 

Angela Castillo  03:05

So we are no code tool, for developers of companies to build any type of software, especially workflows, we specialize in workflows. So if you've heard this trend about automate your job, or let the machines to what they are better at, which is data entry and an automation and lead the humans do what they're better at, which is creating human relationships and creativity, we want the workforce of the future to look exactly like that. So what we are building is, is a tool so that you can automate parts of your job and create workflows and connect to databases and crunch numbers without having to spend vast amount of time coding and without having to call a technical person. They're building that rocket to Mars. And

 

Angela Castillo  04:01

then we're serving at the end of the day, our user is any person at the company which wants to spend their time better spent on ongoing operational tasks. And, and the way we are getting into those users is with our buyer, who is the Executive that understands that the future looks like non technical people building software. So if you think about what awhile ago, you had to hire somebody really,

 

Angela Castillo  04:34

really skilled to build a presentation. So they would come with fancy like a fancy system, and they will take days and build a very specialized presentation. And today, all of us build presentations and it's the same with photography and it's the same with everything. So executives that understand that today that the future looks like regular business employees and all departments are going to build common coding. The future as in, they, you know, those are the people that we're addressing. Those are the people that we're talking to. And we're starting to engage within the company,

 

Jim Coleman  05:09

I have to admit, when I first heard of Hello guru, when I had when I had the thought, in my mind, like no code in my before talking to you, my understanding of no code was that it would be a tool that a non technical founder, for example, could use to build something that would be useful. And then you're before the fold tagline on Hello guru.io is the modern way to build internal tools. That was paradigm shifting to me to think it's like, oh, this is to build internal tools at larger orgs. to free the developers to do higher level things like, do you feel like I'm on my own without or do a lot of people think of no code, in terms of like building something from scratch with a brand new startup?

 

Angela Castillo  05:51

You're exactly right. So no code has a positioning at the moment in the market of something to build an MVP, or, and prove assumptions. When I used to work at enhancer Bush, we would build technologies, and we would build small prototypes, just to prove assumptions. And then we will try to scale them in the obviously New York or in lova, if you would work, it will go across organization globally. And if not, we will do something else. So it's something we would use any type of technology to test assumptions. And that's how no code is perceived by many people. And it's great, and it absolutely worked for that. It perfectly wasn't there's many people more than ever, are building their companies, their prototypes and showing technology to investors and to the world, using knockoff technologies. And that's great, I love it, we have a different focus. Because what happens if you build an MVP, no code and you don't build it to scale is that you're going to have to rebuild it in the future, if you don't think about long term, and you think it as a product. Right? So we we solve that problem. And what we're doing is that we're building a tool with microservices, which makes it scalable, that way, you're going to be able to create something using no code with us. And then you don't need to think about rebuilding it, it's always going to be fast, it's all it's never going to break and it's not going to start generating problems. And that that is there are many local tools at the moment that are scalable, and are cyber secure. And they work for bigger organizations, for enterprises and for even for highly regulated industries, which is the target. And, but they're not many. But as as no code, no finite use case. And as smoker evolves in the maturity of technology, we're going to continue finding that no code is for every use case that code is so including mdps and non scalable themes to to very complex products. So

 

Jim Coleman  07:58

I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you because I think it's important for people to know what's, uh, widen their paradigm on what's possible, with no code, because I know like I said, For me, my paradigm was very small, on what can be done. And I'm actually my, my wheels are turning now we were our organization is growing, we're about 50 people now. And I was recently talking to one of our team leaders who's a developer, about developing a platform internally that would help, like report client metrics, we provide customer support. So we would report metrics on a dashboard. That would be consumable by our leadership team, but also like an HR function, maybe even built in CRM, like, effectively a dashboard that we can use to run our whole business. Is that a stretch for the capabilities of Hello guru? Is that like, within scope of what could be built?

 

Angela Castillo  08:43

Yeah, that's the scope. And, and not only Hello, Guru, but many, many local tools can do that easily. And I think the reason why people think that no code is for simple use cases, is because of the time investment that you need to put. So if you want to build something really simple, like a website, or or even a CRM, or a dashboard, like the ones that you're mentioning, anybody can do it with an investment of maybe three hours of learning, plus three hours of building, you just have to get in there, get acquainted with the tool and start building. The reason why people don't feel the more complicated things is because then it takes a bigger learning curve, right? So I'm making something really simple requires three hours, and you can build that immediately. But if you want to make something really complicated, then it's going to require for you to perhaps marry or not over the weeks, or maybe even for a month, and that's why people don't understand like that you can build a very complicated stuff. And that's why the challenge is to make a UX UI so simple, that you can build complicated things with very little learning curve and that's what we're focusing on to make Sure that to build something big and ambitious, you don't need to spend three months studying

 

Jim Coleman  10:05

it honestly, sounds too good to be true. And I think that's going to be one of the objections I get. Because I mean, we semi scoped out the project to build this internally. And it's like, I mean, would cost 1000s of dollars for us to do this. And that's just getting started. You know, and it's crazy to me that that's potentially not even necessary. And we already have quite technical people on our team that I'm confident can, you know, figure this out that they could use algorithms to build this? It's, I don't know, it's mind blowing to me, is like, so an executive at and you mentioned to me offline, that your ICP ideal client profile somewhere in the range of like, business that's 200k to 500k MRR. So in that case, an executive comes in and says like, okay, I want to use this, who actually who actually implements that within the within the team is, is it a developer? Is it just more of a tech savvy person on the team? Or who would that be?

 

Angela Castillo  10:57

The idea would be that you don't need to have a tech savvy person, because that's the whole point. But of course, a CTO is want to get involved. They want to see what's the potential and what what can they do further. So the target that we're addressing, where we have found more traction, and then we add more value, which is the whole point is companies that are in series, say where they achieved product market fit, and they have something people love. And now they need to scale their processes to go. So at that point, to scale your processes, you're going to have to buy a lot of software, or create software from scratch using code or your tools that your employees use every day, or you can use us to create to create your tools. So it depends on the team that first needs them. That software development, the tool, the workflow, the CRM, the dashboard, who's going to be involved in that project. But we what we found is that non technical people like an ops team, or the marketing team can can easily run the project and run the process without without having

 

Jim Coleman  12:08

any trouble. I see. So what would you say is your biggest pain point right now, within Hello guru, our biggest challenge?

 

Angela Castillo  12:17

education is it's hard if we're thinking about having fast customer acquisition, because so there's the target that we're focusing on right now is people that at least use a normal Norberto. So they already understand that. So they already understand that it works. And that is simple, and that you don't need to build everything with code, because not everything is complicated. There's some simple workflows in life. So but as we as we move towards acquiring different types of customers, we need to basically prove ourselves by showing the product in 20 ways and showing use cases in 20 ways and showing all their know, kudos even, and how they've been very successful or how people are using them. And that is, I think, the biggest pain point, but we have a light, because the the younger generations, which are the workforce at companies right now, are very tech savvy. And they pick up those incredibly fast. And so when we provide tools to these young teams, that they're proactive, they want to learn, and they're not scared to downloading a system and just start creating value to the company with it. That's that's where we, when we show like people that are a little bit detractors of the technology that anybody

 

Jim Coleman  13:49

can, yeah, well, that makes sense. I want to pan out for a second and consider the big picture view. What do you see we talked a little bit about this earlier, but I'd like to go a little bit deeper. What do you see as the future? I mean, how does this evolve on a 510 year 15 year time horizon, in terms of, well, how it shapes the future of startups or our business in general.

 

Angela Castillo  14:12

So what I think is that is going to make us a lot more efficient. Because if you think about today, I'll say 30% of the time that we spend with our jobs is doing operational tasks that we need to do. Even even executives, replying to emails, and putting data in different places and exporting mistakes within the data that we put but because wherever there's human, there's error. If you create an Excel file, you're gonna have mistakes. If you create an email, you're gonna have mistakes if you create a world of mistakes. Some of you even like going into your own documents, sending emails, extracting data from databases. Creating processes is something that takes time Right. And then there's the old time spend of your day, which is talking with your colleagues and using your brain to create creative ideas. And, and so if you reduce the time that the operational tasks take, and you have, for instance, each time I receive an email, then it gets sorted out, and it automatically searches in the inventory of, of employees of the company and sends their reply, you know, because there's some things you don't need to think about. If you're just going to pick up or communicating or, or some data going up. And you automate that those types of tasks, what is going to happen is that is that people are going to be much more free to think, and we're going to have more efficient companies, we're going to have more efficient societies, and we're going to be had better ideas, because people are going to spend much more time thinking about actual problems to solve for the world, and not processes to create to keep organized, how much time of our days, yeah, we try when we can organize our okrs and our process and keep it organized. And

 

Jim Coleman  16:06

yeah, I laugh because like it, I feel like we collectively spend so much time just doing stupid shit, that doesn't help further the mission of what we're trying to accomplish. And I talked about this quite a long time ago. But this idea of like, occasionally, my old office had a couch in it. And I would just sometimes go sit down and just think it's so rare. I know that's important. But it's still so rare that I do that, where I just, I, it's so easy to get into that trap of considering production, in terms of how much stupid stuff you do and just move around versus like, actually thinking and making a big decision. It's like, the proverbial idea is like, is our ladder even leaning against the right wall, we're busy scurrying up at climbing, climbing up the ladder, but are we even leaning into the right wall, you know, having this like big picture, thought process, and taking time in our day to even consider such questions.

 

Angela Castillo  17:02

You might live in the past, where you had, remember when they were the desks and people were just signing with paper. And I will tell you, okay, I'm gonna give you this job, and you're gonna sign papers and like, read these papers and sign them off every single day. And then in 10 years, you're going to manage them people that sign papers, and create and read these papers every single day. And I'll tell you, right now, you tell me, there's no way. Like, I want to use my creative brain and my power and my time for something that makes me feel like I am adding value to society, to my colleagues, to the company to to the world in general. So in the future, if you tell somebody, so I, you're going to spend three hours a day sending and receiving emails, and, and being the bridge in between communicating with people, or uploading data, or cleaning, cleaning certain types of data for visualization, or putting systems organizing systems in place. But I'm going to tell you, I automated all of that does not for me, I'm going to spend much time thinking about how can I make a better product for customers? How can I make? I don't know, change the world in different? Sure.

 

Jim Coleman  18:25

I know you and I are each the less technical co founder at our respective companies. So maybe this question is a stretch. It is from my brain, that's for sure. I don't know if it is for yours or not. But I want to talk more about the marriage of AI into no code. And because I think everything you're basically saying, automating tasks, and I feel like there's an implementation of AI and machine learning technology. Is that something that can be is that a technology that can be implemented through no code?

 

Angela Castillo  18:59

Yeah, and there's many tools, we are not doing it yet. What we do closest to is sets of rules and templates so that you can advance your work faster. But there's many, many no code tools that focus in AI and automation and under being very successful under proving themselves on improving their use cases. And they're proving that they can add value. So where it's not the where fires were there.

 

Jim Coleman  19:29

That's so fascinating to me. I'm such a big believer in what you're saying and using technology to take things off of our plate that are not the highest and best use of our time. They just make sense and it creates a world where we can be much more efficient. I keeping along the lines of a futuristic view, what are your thoughts on so I went to sastra which you know, last week or this week, I just got back and I had a conversation with somebody one on one and they were talking about raising funds for this And one of the challenges that this gentleman had was that he was a solo founder, and he's a non technical or less technical founder, and investors turned him away, because he didn't have a technical co founder, do you foresee a shift, thanks to no code technology, where we're going to start seeing more less technical founders?

 

Angela Castillo  20:22

Yes, I think I think it's already happening. And it also depends on the product that you're doing. So for instance, I am doing something that is really technical, because we're building the tool that you're going to use not sure. So we require we require, like a vast amount of engineering. But, but I see every day more prototypes being built with no code tools from the founders, non technical founders themselves. And I think we're gonna see a lot more of that, moving towards moving moving to the future. And there's also something really interesting, and is that, then, when the investors See you, they see two things, two types of risks, the product risk, which is that you're not going to be able to execute and create a new product. And then they see the market risk, right, that the market is not gonna adopt the technology that you're proposing. And so the fact that technology is advancing so much, and so fast, and that is becoming each time easier and easier and easier to create good technology really fast is for, for investors, it becomes really easy to say, this person can execute the product. Because for you, for me to convince you that even though I am not the technical founder, I can promise you that I can build an app, you're gonna believe me, because it's happening every day. It's not very complicated anymore. There's a lot of talent out there, there's a lot of tools, there's a lot of so even when I've seen people doing seed rounds, with big mouth prototype, I see. And there's no risk, because it's going to happen, they're going to be able to build it especially,

 

Jim Coleman  22:12

it's exciting to consider what the future is going to look like. And it's just changing. So rapidly, I think that's exciting, because it opens the door to a lot more people that would otherwise be hindered. I mean, my, my first startup, I was partnered with a developer out of Brazil, and he's actually a client of ours now, and we're good friends, but he at the time, was ready to leave and get a full time job. And we were compelled to sell because I did not have the confidence to operate the business from a technical perspective. So we thought it was in our best interest to sell. And we did, but I see a future where that's, you know, if it's built with no code technology, then that increases my confidence to build a run that independent of a technical co founder. So I'm curious to learn more about what your role is day to day, hello, Guru.

 

Angela Castillo  23:00

So because I'm not the technical co founder, my co founder focuses on the product. And I focus on the operation sales and marketing. So at the moment, the size of the startup that we have, that's really all we need, we need to make sure that we have a product that people love, and that we're constantly improving it and making sure that is the best it can be. And that and then we need to make sure that people see us understand what we do, we create relevant content to our community and, and that we increase on having bigger strategic partners to common work with our broad, but also informal roadmap based on their problems. And so that's how we that's why we divided it and and it's working, because we have been able to see tremendous progress in both. in both areas, we have beautiful product. And we also have a lot of customers really interested and we see how the community is accepting the mission that we have, really nicely we see all the time. In the local community, where we have our university also where we have 5000 students, students all the time, send us notes on how much they like our courses, which are for free. They love that. And so we have a big community there. But there's also founders tell us how much they love. They love that they're going to be able to speed up their operations with our tool, and we get a lot of shoutouts. And that's really rewarding. Because the whole point of of putting the effort is to create something that adds value. And that people in general that they don't have to be your employees are excited to talk about and are excited to try and I are excited to see how it works and how we will change the future. Yeah, that is the thing. What motivates us.

 

Jim Coleman  24:55

Absolutely. Yeah. Speaking of making good progress, you mentioned on LinkedIn that iteration is one of your top values. I'm curious. And by the way that for anybody that hasn't come across it that visualize value, what would we call it designs or whatever are amazing. I know he's predominantly on Twitter, Vinny way. It's very, very cool visualizations of different points. But I'm curious how you think of iteration in terms of the startup environment.

 

Angela Castillo  25:26

So when when you start a business, or even many people at companies, they want to start businesses, and they don't start because there's no shortage of detractors. out there, everybody, your family, your friends, or colleagues, if you tell them an idea that you have, they would start saying no, but that they exist, or there's not going to work for us, ABC, customers don't want that or does not want to be profitable. That that's just the way it is. And the way we are just human works, because that's how our brain is wired to work. This is protecting us from you. So our brain is not designed for us to be happy. Our brain is designed for us to think about each possible risk and make sure that we're safe. So when we, when we start businesses, we tend to be like that, and this is something that my co founder has helped me a lot, because he is a person that makes progress very fast, no matter what. And so what I've learned is that for you to know, if it's really not going to work, you need to try it. You if you will not know what your customers want, you need to have customers. So you need to attract adding value no matter how, even if it's in consulting them, you need to attract them adding value. And then you need to ask how can you add more value? And then how can you add more value and create a business out of that, but there's no theoretically nothing in your head. There's no plan and no assumption and no data that is going to tell you what works or not otherwise. B C's wouldn't exist, because that there will not be risk because the data will tell you the answer. But that's not the case. Yeah, the only answer is iteration. The only way you're going to know if something works is trying it.

 

Jim Coleman  27:19

Yeah. I love that paradigm. And I went to a conference, like two years ago, LTV conference, Manhattan, and there was a speaker, David from grasshopper, forgetting his last name, but he sold grasshopper for millions and millions of dollars. And he basically said that while while he was there, they figured out how to put $1 into the slot machine and get $2 out. And they had to go through a huge number of experiments to do that. And he shared what worked for them. And then he was like, by the way, that very likely will not work for you. So it's like it's the equivalent of you know, me getting a winning lottery ticket, cashing that in and then giving that to you. It's like, well, thanks. But that's not gonna work. For me. his point was, it's a series of experiments and just seeing what works. And it's not to say that it's recklessness, or that we don't take educated bets. But that's exactly what David and I, my co founder have been doing. And I, I just don't know that there's a better way. And that's what I hear from so many founders, like, you just got to put yourself out there and be willing to accept failure, and pick yourself up and keep trying.

 

Angela Castillo  28:29

And you will learn a lot. And I think that investors knowledge, and that's why they allow you to take all the decisions, because only the entrepreneur and the team has the intimate relationship with the problem and with the cost. Because you even if you fail, or you didn't, or it was a tremendous success from the first time you are the one that is so close to the customer that you understand what are their veins? And how can you add value. And so that's all that matters, because as long as long as you're learning how to add value to your customer, it's going to work at some point. So and the only way and the only way is by creating because you don't have anything to show anything to offer or anything to sell. You cannot have real time experience. And there is no AV testing that will help you with that. Because humans, there's a lot of research on this. And it's about that humans say and do different things. So even if you ask customers that they will buy something, and they say yes. I don't think that that's a good reason to to launch it in the market. I think that the only way to know if a customer really loves what you do is when they pay for it. Yeah, that you really know.

 

Jim Coleman  29:47

You know, you know what's interesting even to take that one step further. I was at Sastre recently and the guy already said that and I listened to a presentation and the guy forgot who it was but he was defining product market fit and he says most people will you achieve product market fit when you have revenue. And he said, I would argue that you really don't have product market fit as well, you have retention, because in other words like you can sell a product that's a selling it is, is step one, retaining the client, for a long period of time is, is what really defines product market fit, because that means that they're actually getting value out of the product. And it's useful to them. Would you agree with that? Or do you feel differently?

 

Angela Castillo  30:26

No, I feel exactly the same. And yesterday, I was having a conversation with two executives. And they were both cell executives. And they said something really interesting, which is, you first need to land in the island. And then you can expand, which is making that sale is an entry point. And this is great, but many people are willing to try different things and explore different things. But when you acquire a customer, you just have to make sure that their experience is 11 out of 10. And that you not only exceed their expectations, but you find ways to expand within their organization. And that is retention, that is where even better business expansion. And is the only way to retain customers, anybody can even sell a product for one month. You can anybody can try things something right. But to keep them you really need to continuously add value anything that's software, from my experience in CPG. And my experience in hardware, software is one of the best ways to do this. Because with features, you can continually evolve and add value in an organic decision in really short time. In hardware, it is really hard because once they buy something, Tesla has done a great job of this by the machine improves and an app on the iPhone as well. The machine improves while you have it in your hands. That's brilliant problems are improved when you're worried about them. That's brilliant, new software is even even better, because you can really read or even continue adding value in a really fast manner and keeping keeping those customers happy.

 

Jim Coleman  32:08

Yeah. Yeah, this is a little bit of an aside, but I think it's interesting to talk about briefly, do you think that we as in like the founder community overly focus on sales, over retention? Like do you think retention gets the the attention it deserves?

 

Angela Castillo  32:25

I think we are really focused on sales. Because it's the first thing that people ask. And afterwards, they they ask credential, but firstly ourselves. And so we overly focus in on sales. And also once we sell, we relax, because we're level, okay, they trust me, I, I got the sale there their use of the product and, and that's when the customer success department has become so successful since it was created. Because it's critical that you stay close to a customer after the sale. But not everybody realizes it. But everybody's starting to realize,

 

Jim Coleman  33:08

yeah, what's funny is I mean, when we land a new client, you know, we'll hoop and holler and cheer and high five, then at least virtually high five, it's like, honestly, we should be doing that when we start a new month, and we have all the clients that we had before. Like that's worth celebrating equally as much if honestly, if not even more, because it proves we're adding value to them at least enough to where they're wanting to pay for another month of service. You know, that's that's a pretty considerable win, actually. Yeah.

 

Jim Coleman  33:36

So I want to transition a bit and talk a little bit about your big why as a person. What, why, why are you doing this in the first place? What motivates you?

 

Angela Castillo  33:48

This is what we were discussing before. And I speak about it all the time with my co founder as well, and is that if it's only for money, there's easier ways to make money than being an entrepreneur. And also, when there's risk, there is a lot of risk with all the respect to all the intrapreneurs first time entrepreneurs out there early stage entrepreneurs out there is your risky

 

Jim Coleman  34:16

Yeah, we're always no question about it.

 

Angela Castillo  34:19

I think for me, it has always been the motivation to speak and connect and exchange ideas with really our minds. So I that's why I have during my life lately several countries and, and exchange industries and change environments a lot because I find fascinated to be in groups of people that think different and that they have a mission and something they want to accomplish. And they're all the time trying to nourish their minds and their vision of the future. And that's really what I like the most out of Working in my startup, but also in the past? Because I am, I enjoy communicating great ideas with people. And I want to I want to nourish that. So that is what motivates me all the time.

 

Jim Coleman  35:13

Yeah. That's so profound, I feel very much the same way. And I told you offline that through the few show, we've had the opportunity to interview 150 founders in a short amount of time. And it's an amazing opportunity. I've met people from every corner of the world, working on a huge variety of startups. And it's opened my eyes like I, I didn't explore no code extensively before I met you. And it's like, all man, I'm really excited about this, like the future in this arena is is an incredible, and then also the conveyed passion. I think that it's almost intoxicating to be around people that are passionate about what they do. And almost without question that has been a commonality among founders is that level of passion. I don't think I've yet to speak to a single person that's like, move, this is what I do. And you know, it's like, everybody has that level of passion and energy. And that's absolutely captivating, and even intoxicating. I love it.

 

Angela Castillo  36:12

It's almost like if you could see reality before it happens, because I see, through the years, when I used to work at Unilever, they were speaking about tailored made experiences, and deliver experiences. We're not there yet. But they were speaking about the things. And then I also saw how they were speaking about virtual reality for for industries, and you get to hear all the ideas and people that are creating those ideas, and why are they creating them? And why do they think that's the future, and suddenly, one day, you start seeing them happen. And you know that that person that you spoke to that day that had like those sort of ideas was of course, it was not only that person, it's always in within that community started creating and spreading those ideas that now. And that is so interesting. Various, very passionate people creating things that we're going to see in the next couple of years. Yeah, and they're gonna blow our minds and change the way we live everything. Yeah,

 

Jim Coleman  37:18

I agree. It's so neat to consider what that next thing is gonna be or to start to see some of the hints of that I think of no code, I think of, you know, blockchain, you know, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, smart contracts, that sort of thing. And then also, AI and machine learning. I mean, they there's so many different areas, I think we're just on the edge of an explosion in those respective technologies, it'd be neat to see what the the end result of that is.

 

Angela Castillo  37:46

Yeah, and for me, the most interesting is what is in the minds of the people that are working on it. Because what you can do is only limited by time and resources. But when you speak to all these founders, and I would love to do what you're doing, which is having the opportunity to continuously deep dive to the core of why are they doing it? And what are all the assumptions and all the data that they have gathered through their lifetime, to be able to, then you really see what they want to create what we see today in the market. What we see today in the technology that we use, what we see today and on this trade is only a consequence of something that was in the mind of someone or some people. Yes. 10 years ago, maybe that's right. And what when you speak to people, you get to see the future because the things that they know they haven't created yet.

 

Jim Coleman  38:39

I think by and large entrepreneurs as a group, tend to challenge the status quo. And what's possible I think about the story of was it Roger, I think it was Roger Bannister that broke the four minute mile barrier. And I remember for years and years and years, that was the barrier that nobody could get past people tried. They couldn't do it. One person beat that time. And since then, it's become a non issue to be that time. Tons of people have done that. And I think about like I mentioned the book earlier, Ashley Vance biography of Elon musk and she talks in there a lot about how Elon Musk is evaluated the space industry which is this old school industry that has done things a certain way for so many years. He's like, why are we spending so much money on rockets to go to space? This is not necessary we can do things you know, this way and make it better. You know why? Why are electric cars previous to Tesla so dweeby right, like they're just goofy like they're not cool, right? And then and now they are and people want it's like, it's creating a whole like a whole cohort of like accidental environmentalist. It's like, well, I guess it's cool that I'm being good to the environment, but I really just liked it. This car goes zero to 60 in 1.99 seconds, right? Like, on its own. Yeah. That we need that we need that innovation because People benefit all around the world from the fruits of that kind of thinking, and that kind of challenging thinking

 

Angela Castillo  40:09

and effort, because we have to think that then people need to develop it. And that's I think the heart.

 

Jim Coleman  40:14

Yeah, absolutely. I want to touch a little bit on your transition, because I'm correct in saying you're a first time entrepreneur, right? With Hello Guru. And you have a lot of professional experience. But how has that transition been into this world, because like you were saying earlier, and like all of the founders listening would relate to it's not easy, it's absolutely not easy. And the level of responsibility that's on our shoulders is tremendous. But I'm curious how you're adjusting to that.

 

Angela Castillo  40:43

I personally love it. I am, I used to like my jobs very much. And what I used to, like most about my jobs were the hard challenges. So you're all the time surrounded by mentors, and by older executives, and by, in general, very smart people that want to solve problems. And so you're all the time when you when you're having a complex problem to solve, and you need to deliver results, go to them, and ask them their advice. And I used to hate when there was a period of time within my jobs, that two things will happen. The one is that the problems to solve are not complex. So there was no need for guidance, there was no need, like he was pretty straightforward and clever. And or the other piece of operations is happening sometimes that you're blocked. So some, some resources or some politics or something blocks you from, so you just need to wait to get unblocked or go to another direction. And I wouldn't like this because I had so much. I was eager to learn and do things and being an entrepreneur, you all the time, have very complex problems. Yeah, I get I could have eight hours a day meetings with mentors and executives. And I would always have one challenge, or two or three or 10, to tell them because you're doing something that nobody else has done. So every perspective is a challenge. Yeah, the product is a challenge. The business model is a challenge the customers challenge, the user is a challenge, the theme is a challenge. And there's so much to think about, and so much to do that you never get bored. So the area's for me, I really like.

 

Jim Coleman  42:30

I'm curious how you handle that on a personal level in terms of finding that balance. And one of the themes I like to talk about often and I think about often is this idea of finding peace, and contentment and even joy in the journey without being necessarily married to the end result. Because there's so many unknowns. And if we break that down into the kind of the micro sense, how often at the end of your day, do you feel a sense of peace and contentment, or even satisfaction in the results of that day?

 

Angela Castillo  43:04

I think that almost every day, but you cannot go thinking that you're gonna have you're gonna achieve your goals does not gonna happen. What? What I will work for me at least, is that you make progress and learnings within your complex challenges. So all the things that you have in a startup are unknowns, you don't have a playbook for most, for most things, you have a playbook. For a business model that is not specific for you, you need to make your own Yeah, and so forth. So you cannot confuse anything, you can guide yourself. So what works for me is to, like think that the end goal might not be achieved, but you're working towards something, and that something is the mission and the mission. So our mission, at least is to empower more humans to communicate with technology and build software. So we know that and every day, we meet a new customer that has a problem that does know how to build software, that new software, what type of software and other than that, and we make steps toward that. But you cannot it's not like a job where you can be traumatizing yourself because you didn't hit your KPI That's impossible. You cannot think about like that because you are going to be miserable. Yes, important for

 

Jim Coleman  44:30

that kind of introduces the topic of optimizing for the long game versus the short game, you know, running a marathon versus a sprint. I've personally found that useful. And that's from past experience of running sprints and getting burned out and not playing the long game. I feel like I've learned that lesson. It's not always easy for me to implement. But I find that that's generally true of most entrepreneurs is thinking through the long term. Do you Would you agree with that sentiment, or do you view that a little bit differently

 

Angela Castillo  44:59

I I think that I personally believe in progress. So as long as you're making progress, like you're going in the right direction, the faster the better, of course. But the thinking thing in the long term, he just doesn't allow you to, for me ages doesn't allow you to see. If you focus too much on the goal, then you're going to be able to pivot fast enough. So you have like a couple of things that you're working on. And it's pretty much said, so if you are pre product, you if you're pre revenue, you've got to get customers in, you are pre process of scaling, you've got to build something that makes sure that you can acquire customers without adding sales or customer success. So the challenges are there. And what that allows me with allows me to move forward without panicking is that to do one at a time, the path is really clear. Because so for organizations or growing the same way, so you have no prob the new roller customers. And so for me, what works is that to achieve those milestones, and make progress as much, as much as possible, many executives asked about the exit plan. And they ask about the organization, and that is that the future looking things. And, and I tend to think less about those.

 

Jim Coleman  46:29

Yeah. Oh, that makes sense. Just think about

 

Angela Castillo  46:33

the next milestone. Let me make

 

Jim Coleman  46:35

sure. Yeah, yeah. I think that's useful. That's really useful feedback. I know we're up on time, Angela, I want to end with this. I'm, I'm curious to know what your future looks like. Right? As far as where you want to drive your your career. I mean, I'm, I'm curious how that looks for you. 510 15 years down the line.

 

Angela Castillo  46:58

I would love to create something that millions of people enjoy. And millions of people are, are able to use every day or think about every day. It doesn't need to be software, it can be an idea. It can be anything. But I would love to create something that nobody else has created before. That gives me joy or inspires people. And I think that, for instance, allowing people to be in software to automate their jobs. But who knows what the future brings? I don't know. I don't know the future. But as long as I can inspire somebody to do something. I would love that. That's great.

 

Jim Coleman  47:42

This has been an amazingly insightful conversation. I really appreciate your time. So the website is Hello. guru.io. So that's Hello GU ru.io. And what's the best way for people to reach out if they're interested in learning more about what you all do?

 

Angela Castillo  47:59

h mount directly. Angela at www.helloguru.io. 

 

Jim Coleman  48:04

Perfect. Okay, that sounds great. Well, thanks so much for your time, Angela. Really appreciate the opportunity to chat and all the insights he should

 

Angela Castillo  48:12

thank you. Bye

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